Tennis: French Open has 'fingers crossed' for Nadal appearance: Organisers

AFP , Thursday 25 Apr 2024

French Open organisers have their "fingers crossed" that Rafael Nadal will be able to play this year's event, tournament director Amelie Mauresmo said on Thursday.

Spain's Rafael Nadal answers to journalists during a press conference ahead of the 2024 ATP Tour Madrid Open tennis tournament at Caja Magica in Madrid on April 24, 2024. Photo: AFP


Nadal, the record 14-time Roland Garros champion, said on Wednesday he would only play the clay-court Grand Slam this year if he felt "capable enough to compete".

The 37-year-old Spaniard did not play last year after the Australian Open due to a hip injury and has hinted strongly he will retire after this season.

But Mauresmo is hopeful Nadal will be able to play the French Open, which starts on May 26.

"We're keeping our fingers crossed for him, but also for us because we want to welcome him here to Roland Garros," Mauresmo told a press conference.

"He is at home (here) and he knows it. Knowing whether there will be a tribute (to Nadal) or not, this year, next year, is very dependent on him and the decisions he takes.

"We're waiting to see and we will follow his wishes."

This year, the French Open will have two covered courts for the first time, with Court Suzanne Lenglen to join Court Philippe Chatrier in having a retractable roof.

"The roof will allow us in the event of bad weather to have a little more flexibility in our programming throughout the fortnight," said Mauresmo, who ruled out extra night session matches being played on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

The scheduling of night sessions has often been criticised in the past for too often featuring men's matches instead of women's ties.

"As we have done from the start, the match-up will decide, the match of the day," said Mauresmo.

"If we have a great women's match, we will schedule it. If there are more (great) men's matches, there will be more men's matches. We don't have a quota to fill."

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